Thursday, July 1, 2010

Doing a U-turn

In the space of less than one hundred years the core beliefs of the pioneer founders of Primitive Methodism had been overturned. The consequences were far reaching.

The Bible could no longer be trusted as the Word of God. Christ was demoted from being the incarnate Son of God, fully human and yet fully divine, to an inspirational human being. Supernatural events such as the Virgin birth were denied.

Christ became a moral example to follow. The concepts of heaven and hell became vague and more abstract. Emphasis on God’s righteous anger, and the coming judgement were down-played in favour of a Fatherly God of love.

The gospel message of Bourne and Clowes, embodied in the catch-cry “flee from the wrath to come”, was virtually obliterated. The proponents of the liberal gospel were anything but Ranters.

It was a U-turn for the movement.

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